Society of Southwest Archivists

SLOTTO: Ham & History Since 1993

19 Nov 2021 9:25 AM | Jaimi Parker (Administrator)

Lilly Carrel, 50th Anniversary Ad Hoc Committee

This is the second installment of a series of articles that commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Society of Southwest Archivists.

What once began as a business meeting raffle during breakfast has transformed into the annual tradition known as SLOTTO. SLOTTO made its first mark in SSA’s history on May 20, 1993 with David Murrah hosting the raffle and raising $515 for the Herbert Scholarship.

Caption: Charles Schultz, SSA President 1978-1980, with his “Bluebirds of Happiness” at SLOTTO in Fayetteville, AR, 2000. Photo: Shelly Kelly.

The following year at SSA’s annual meeting in El Paso, Kim Allen Scott filled in as host, a role he would continue to undertake throughout the next decade. His weeks-long preparation served him well as he entertained attendees and helped drive up raffle ticket sales. Kim’s years in this role for the event would pay off in 2001 when he was presented the Distinguished Service Award. Since the beginning of SLOTTO in 1993 until 2001, up to $1,570 had been raised through the raffle.

Caption: Long-time host, Kim Allen Scott, and Gerri Schaad at SLOTTO in Austin, TX, 1999. Photo: Shelly Kelly.

SLOTTO’s tradition evolved as SSA leaders and members added prize runners, such as Mark Lambert who dressed up as Elvis Presley in 2002 to distribute winnings during the event. In the mid 2000s, John Slate, Robert Schaadt, and others took a turn at being hosts to introduce their own comedic talents to SLOTTO.

Caption: LBJ bust, recurring SLOTTO prize, “The Louisiana Years.” January 2021. Photo: Mark E Martin.

Caption: Buy SLOTTO Tickets! Bob Sloan, Tara Zachery Laver, and Cindy Smolovik. San Antonio, TX, 2004 SSA Annual Meeting. Photo: Shelly Kelly.

In the following decade, Melissa Gonzales took on the emcee role, wearing costume concepts such as “Jock Jams” in 2015 and “I Dream of ‘Wonder Woman Genie’” in 2019. During this year, $2,700 was raised at SLOTTO.

Caption: SLOTTO emcee, Melissa Gonzales, in “I Dream of ‘Wonder Woman’ Jeannie” costume, Tucson, AZ, 2019. Image courtesy of Melissa Gonzales.

The year 2020 with COVID-19 brought some abrupt changes in the cancellation of SSA’s annual meeting and SLOTTO raffle. Both returned in 2021 as members adapted to the virtual world of remote meetings. Melissa committed to her hosting responsibilities for the fundraiser while wearing a crafted Moulin Rouge tiger costume, successfully bringing a comedic sense of normalcy and hope to attendees through the computer screen.

SLOTTO returns to its roots in 2022 at SSA’s 50th anniversary annual meeting in Houston.

Let Us Hear From You – Celebrate SSA’s 50th Anniversary

What can you do to help? Send in your most memorable moments of SSA! Whether it took place this year, fifteen years ago, or fifty years ago, we want to know what memorable moments stand out when you think back over your SSA membership. Was there a particular session or workshop that changed the way you practiced Archives?

Did something memorable happen at the annual meeting? How did you meet your best SSA friend? Whether it’s funny or sad, poignant or boring; we want to know your most memorable moments in SSA. Send memorable moments to John Slate

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